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Well as if trying to run a fledgling business during a pandemic wasn’t challenging enough, we’ve also been building a new website over the last couple of months. And here it is. Bear with us, folks, this is still very much work in progress, but you can now use this site to make your orders and pay for them.

If you’ve already used our old PDF/email ordering system, we’ve already got your details in our point of sale software and we’re in the process of pulling all your order history over to here. It’ll be very useful to all of us, when it’s finished. If your personal data has been transferred, you can identify yourself by going to MY RISE & VINE and using you email address to request a password. If your details are not there yet just register with us and we’ll merge your data in the days to come. The easiest way to do this is by placing an order

If you’re new to ordering from Rise & Vine, then just push on by selecting products from our wine, beer and spirits list. The order confirmation process will do the rest.

We’ve worked hard to get this site to be best suited to meeting your needs and doing so in our own inimitable style. We hope you enjoy it and find it useful. We look forward to hearing your feedback which will help us hone this new tool. Have fun!

We’ve just been refreshing our Chardonnays. We got in two new, top notch Burgundies – the Rully in the picture (left) and a cracking Chassagne Montrachet.

But at the same time we also just imported 30 cases of the ridiculously good value Extrait de Romarion. It’s a Chardonnay that’s been matured with oak too. For £12, you may not get the finesse, complexity and length of the Burgundies, but you do get a great load of Burgundy-like characteristics for your money: A crisp, refreshing start, opening up to rounder stone and stone fruit flavours and finishing with a long, creamy toffee finish.

The Burgundies do all of that and more. Again each will give you that clean, crisp opening, the Chasssgne-Montrachet particularly including touches of blossom in the nose. The deeper, riper fruits follow, balanced by clean mineral elements. Each ends with a creamier, dreamier finish that lingers for an eternity. The difference between the two would be that the Rully is a little lighter, the Chassagne-Montrachet has more caramel in its finish. Both are an investment. Both will pay back dividends!

Priorat is simultaneously one of Spain’s premium wine regions and one of its best kept secrets. We need to change the latter!

It’s an arid, rocky region just inland from Tarragona in eastern Catalonia, not many miles from Penedes, the home of Cava.

Grenache fans, this is one for you. Garnacha as it’s known in Spain, is the principle grape of Priorat and in this blend it’s just over half – 55%, with Carinena (Carignan as the French-dominated wine world knows it) and Cabernet Sauvignon adding another 15% each and a little Merlot and Syrah to complete the mix. As you might expect, this is a complex wine.

That arid, rocky landscape plays a part too, with the low rainfall and water retention nurturing low yielding vines to produce a hugely concentrated wine. You’ll be met by rich and intense aromas of black cherry, liquorice and toasty oak and then deep ripe plummy flavours come through on the palate, with herbal, rosemary and vanilla notes, and leather, spice and smooth yet powerful tannins at the finish.

This is a great wine for everything from goat and sheep cheeses, to Boquerones (soused anchovies), to summer grills, to slow cooked winter roasts,

We love the classics at Rise & Vine – Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja, Chianti and the like. But equally, as an independent shop of independent spirit, we love the left field stuff too – the minor grape varieties, the lesser-known regions, the smaller producers and the like. So we’ve put together 2 cases to introduce you to some of our unsung heroes. (If you’ve arrived here from The Times Food and Drink List, then type in your promotion code in at the checkout stage.)

The first is a 6 bottle case of 2 reds, 2 whites and 2 rosés and the second just adds 6 bottles to the first case to broaden your options to include another couple of reds and whites plus 2 bottles of sparkling. Here they are:

A Case of Independence – 6 bottles

Showing 6 wines, 2 reds, 2 whites and 2 rosés, from smaller producers, interesting grape varieties or unusual places.

Domaine de Valdition, Alpilles Rouge – biodynamic red from a super-chic winery just outside the super-chic village of Eygalieres in Western Provence – one of my go-to wines when I lived down that way. Imported directly by Rise & Vine.

Bergdolt-Reif & Nett, Pinot Noir – amazing quality/value Pinot Noir from Pfalz, Germany (the world’s third largest producer of Pinot Noir!). You’d double the price for a Pinot Noir as good as this from Burgundy. Imported directly by Rise & Vine and exclusively available by retail from us in the UK.

Pietradolce Etna Bianco – Sicilian wines are ever-so fashionable right now and this one, made from Carricanti grapes grown in the volcanic soils of the northern slopes of Mount Etna shows exactly why.

Origine Chardonnay – we import this one from a great co-operative just the other side of the Rhône Valley from Chateauneuf-du-Pape (another from my time down there). Think Meursault on a budget rather than ’90s new world butter-bomb!

Le Pique Poul – a Rise & Vine direct import and a rare grape variety – Picpoul Noir. Pale and clean with refreshing acidity, bright rose petal aromas and citrus notes. When the sun’s hot, we just can’t keep this one in the shop.

Le Bréton Rosé – (Bréton because of its stripy label – it’s from Provence, not Brittany!) this one’s imported directly by the guy who lives round the corner from the shop – we like to keep things local. Mike imports this classic rosé, bursting with pink grapefruit, directly from Grimaud, just next door to St Tropez.

A Case of Independence – 12 bottles

The original six wines from the 6 bottle Case of Independence, plus 6 more bottles from the more unusual end of our range.

Rathfinny Classic Cuvée Sparkling – newly released classic combination of the three Champagne grape varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier; that prove that Sussex is now producing fizz as good as the more famous French original.

Dowie Doole, Moxie – sparkling Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia. Yes, a red sparkler! Delicious Shiraz spices and dark fruit, a tiny hint of port-like sweetness, and a proper ‘methode traditionelle’ mousse.

Marc Riesling – from what is without question the best winery in Bethnal Green! Renegade Urban Winery brings an East London craft ale sensibility to making wine. This one’s a low intervention made from grapes grown sustainably in Germany, but they make other wines from British grapes, too.

Wildeberg Chenin Blanc – We just put this one in because we love it. Earthy, almost wooly, beautifully balanced South African Chenin Blanc.

Portia Crianza, Ribera de Duero – a 100% Tempranillo, aged for 2 years in oak barrels, made at the modernist Portia winery designed by Foster and Partners and imported by a specialist importer from Spain.

Verum Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Franc, from Patagonia; both would imply a lighter wine, so be prepared to be surprised by the unusually depth of this atypical Argentinian wine.

There are a few wines back in after differing lengths of absence:

After a couple of weeks waiting for stock to arrive from the continent with one of our suppliers, we welcome back Kensal favourites, Crémant de Die and our Alsace Riesling (great value, minerally, dry Riesling).

After more than a month, we now have the new vintage (2019) of the Defaix Bourgogne Blanc, a super crisp, refreshing, flinty white Burgundy from a Chablis producer in the north of the region

And after 18 months absence, we are absolutely delighted to welcome back the gorgeous, biodynamic/organic Bourgeois Diaz ‘3C’ Champagne – which now has a super chic label, to boot.  It’s called ‘3C’ because it includes all 3 of the classic Champagne grape varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Between them they provide the full gamut of classic Champagne flavours, from a clean, lemony citrus upper range to deeper, rounder, yeasty, biscuity bass notes.  And good organic Champagnes are still few and far between.

A few new wines in this week too:

From Bergdolt-Reif & Nett in Germany, we have recently taken delivery of two great Rieslings and a Muskateller.  The ‘Glaube, Liebe, Hoffnung’ (Faith, Love, Hope) is a great value dry Riesling with a predominantly grapefruit crispness. It’s only £12.  A little dearer, but still a pretty accessible £17, is the similarly dry, but all together more complex Avant Garde Riesling.  

The Muskateller is a dry fermented Muscat. Muscat is a naturally sweet grape, but in this case has been fermented to completely turn all of its sugar to alcohol to produce a dry, refreshing wine with a whole orchard of blossom and fruit wafting around inside it.  Absolutely delicious, super-chilled, in the garden (or the park), with a salty snack!

Last week, we also took delivery of Renegade Urban Winery’s ‘Jamie’ Pet Nat.  It’s a light, zesty, naturally sparkling wine (pétillant naturel) made in Bethnal Green (yup!) from elderflowery Bacchus grapes grown in Hertfordshire.  Again, a cracker for afternoon drinking in summer gardens.

A new rosé that I don’t think I told you about yet is the Gris Marin.  A very pale ‘gris’ wine – so pale it’s called grey.  It’s grown down in the Camargue, coastal marshland home of pink flamingoes, white horses and black bulls, down on the French Mediterranean coast, where it’s sandy soils produce a light, ever so slightly salty, crisp, dry wine.  We have another rosé from down that way arriving on a pallet imminently:  A rare, delicious Picpoul rosé.  There’s still a chance it will be available at the end of the week, but next week is looking more likely.  Finally, at the same time, from the producers of the Versant Viognier, we’re also taking delivery of a delicious, creamy, very well priced Chardonnay – “Romarion”, only £12.

I believe it’s 16 weeks that have passed between the end of the Great British Bog Roll Buy Off and the start of The Summer of Love 3.0 – “The Daisy Nook Mix”.  Never has The Chemical Brothers’ Out of Control seemed more appropriate.  

Of course, the big dairy date for this weekend is “Independence Day”, alternatively the celebration of American independence from British rule, the day the pubs open, or, somewhat ironically, the day the pubs close in at least a handful of American states.  But this weekend in England all but Leicester’s pubs open for non-essential drinking and the world’s largest experiment in inebriated social distancing.  Of course, for home-based essential drinking, we’re still here for you. 

And it’s not just 30ish years since the Second Summer of Love, but next week also heralds a particularly loved-up anniversary of my own, as next Tuesday it will be precisely 30 years (a pearl anniversary) since I married my business collaborator, fellow adventurer, wise councillor, best friend and soulmate, Lindsay.  (Really, you thought I was going to say Shaun?)  And she stuck with me!  What did she see in me?  Potential?  (Remember – for 29 of those years I didn’t own a wine shop!)

This is all a very meandering way – and if you’ve ready any of my Co.Ro.Missives, you’ll be well aware that I alwaystake the scenic route? – of coming to the point that I’m taking a couple of days off at the start of next week.  L and I are going, like Cummings, up North for a few days to hunker down in an isolated, unattractive farm bunker.  (Note to self: check vision before journey.)

As Luca is returning to his “proper” job, next week too, Shaun will be flying solo on Monday and Tuesday next week.  In past times, that was never a challenge for us, but it does mean that we’ll be running a reduced delivery service on those two days.  If you need it, Shaun will get your order to you, but it will not be until after he closes the shop, so don’t bank on anything much before 8pm.  If you can, please plan ahead and get us to deliver this weekend?  If you do order on Monday or Tuesday and are not in a hurry, please let Shaun know that it’s OK to deliver the next day, before we open, maybe?  But like I say, if you’re gagging for a drink, Shaun won’t let you go thirsty!

This is cool

If you dropped into the shop last week, you’ll have noticed everything in upheaval once again.  Last week we had heating and air conditioning installed in the shop and cellar… just in time for last week’s mini heat wave to come to a grinding halt!  Whilst we were not looking forward to melting in the next […]

July booze news

There are a few wines back in after differing lengths of absence: After a couple of weeks waiting for stock to arrive from the continent with one of our suppliers, we welcome back Kensal favourites, Crémant de Die and our Alsace Riesling (great value, minerally, dry Riesling). After more than a month, we now have […]

If you dropped into the shop last week, you’ll have noticed everything in upheaval once again.  Last week we had heating and air conditioning installed in the shop and cellar… just in time for last week’s mini heat wave to come to a grinding halt! 

Whilst we were not looking forward to melting in the next big heat wave, there’s a more fundamental reason for keeping the shop and cellar temperature under control – the wine.  Last year, during the record spike in heat in July, some of the bottles got so warm that they began to ease their corks out!  Having significantly increased the shop’s range and stock holding in the intervening 12 months, we can’t afford to risk the stock going off and need to look after those babies.

A disadvantage to this is that we now need to keep the shop door closed to keep the cool air in.  All the more reason for continuing to limit the number of people in the shop and limiting the amount of time that people spend in here too.  We’re taking extra care to wipe the shop door handle with anti-viral surface cleaner regularly, to minimise the chances of contagion at touch points and have ordered a hand sanitiser unit to stand outside the door, so you can clean your hands before entering and after leaving the premises.

Other cool news (Shaun may have mentioned this if you were in the shop lately?) for when the sun comes back, we now sell ice in 2kg bags.

Here’s a whole load of cases for Dad’s Day

This week’s featured wines are some of the new ones that we brought in last week in our first dabble in the world of direct wine importing.  We’ve brought in 8 wines that Lindsay and I enjoyed for years while we lived down in Provence and that I am now very excited to share with you on the Brent Riviera!

Mourchon has been farmed organically for the last 8 years, but will only receive its official accreditation this summer.  But hell, they’re organic, right?  Their Loubié Rosé is rated as one of the best rosés in the Provence, Decanter made it their pick of the Provencal rosés a couple of years ago and Jeb Dunnock describes this vintage as offering “a beautiful bouquet of ripe peach, tangerines and strawberries… with a juicy, medium-bodied style… bright acidity, plenty of fruit… another undeniably delicious rosé from this great estate”.

Their Tradition Rouge is a traditional Rhône blend of 65 % Grenache, 25 % Syrah, 10% Carignan, aged in raw concrete vats to recreate the style of wines traditionally matured in stone lined vats.  It’s full of cherries and herbs with forward notes of spice and liquorice. Next time – and we all have time for this now, don’t we? – so next time you butterfly a leg of lamb and grill it over the embers of an open fire, this is the wine for you.  (Also good with a kebab.)

The Grande Reserve is a more concentrated affair.  It’s made from the grapes of older Grenache and Syrah vines lower yields but, as a result, more concentrated juice.  40% of the wine is matured in new and 1-2 year-old oak barrels to soften the powerful tannins particularly of the Syrah, where the rest is matured in the same concrete tanks to keep some structure and freshness. Delicious with ‘un peu de rosbif’.

Finally, we have brought in a few bottles of the Mourchon Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  The grapes are grown a few miles away in Châteauneuf, where the wine is made before transferring it for maturing in Mourchon’s cellars.  It matures for a year in large ‘demi-muid’ oak vats, which are used more to soften and develop the flavor of the wine, than to add the flavours associated with barrel ageing.  Mourchon describe this as “a medium ruby wine with a harmonious nose of gentle spice and ripe red fruit. The palate is rich and elegant with a touch of oak and well-defined length lifted with balanced freshness”.  It’s tasting lovely now, but if you were looking for something to lay down for an anniversary, then this one will mature and mellow over the next 5-10 years. 

This week’s featured wines are some of the new ones that we brought in last week in our first dabble in the world of direct wine importing.  We’ve brought in 8 wines that Lindsay and I enjoyed for years while we lived down in Provence and that I am now very excited to share with you on the Brent Riviera!

Mourchon has been farmed organically for the last 8 years, but will only receive its official accreditation this summer.  But hell, they’re organic, right?  Their Loubié Rosé is rated as one of the best rosés in the Provence, Decanter made it their pick of the Provencal rosés a couple of years ago and Jeb Dunnock describes this vintage as offering “a beautiful bouquet of ripe peach, tangerines and strawberries… with a juicy, medium-bodied style… bright acidity, plenty of fruit… another undeniably delicious rosé from this great estate”.

Their Tradition Rouge is a traditional Rhône blend of 65 % Grenache, 25 % Syrah, 10% Carignan, aged in raw concrete vats to recreate the style of wines traditionally matured in stone lined vats.  It’s full of cherries and herbs with forward notes of spice and liquorice. Next time – and we all have time for this now, don’t we? – so next time you butterfly a leg of lamb and grill it over the embers of an open fire, this is the wine for you.  (Also good with a kebab.)

The Grande Reserve is a more concentrated affair.  It’s made from the grapes of older Grenache and Syrah vines lower yields but, as a result, more concentrated juice.  40% of the wine is matured in new and 1-2 year-old oak barrels to soften the powerful tannins particularly of the Syrah, where the rest is matured in the same concrete tanks to keep some structure and freshness. Delicious with ‘un peu de rosbif’.

Finally, we have brought in a few bottles of the Mourchon Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  The grapes are grown a few miles away in Châteauneuf, where the wine is made before transferring it for maturing in Mourchon’s cellars.  It matures for a year in large ‘demi-muid’ oak vats, which are used more to soften and develop the flavor of the wine, than to add the flavours associated with barrel ageing.  Mourchon describe this as “a medium ruby wine with a harmonious nose of gentle spice and ripe red fruit. The palate is rich and elegant with a touch of oak and well-defined length lifted with balanced freshness”.  It’s tasting lovely now, but if you were looking for something to lay down for an anniversary, then this one will mature and mellow over the next 5-10 years. 

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